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I want to be submissive but I'm struggling

Funfunkymom

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Long story short, my relationship used to be an abusive one that resulted in a CPS case. This resulted in us coming to Christ (coming back to Christ in my case) and getting married on paper in our church. We have since left that church for another, but that's a different story.

My issue is my non submission. I have a really hard time submitting to my husband in anything. Heck, I even struggle submitting to Christ. Even though I pray and read the Bible and strive to follow the Lord's commands, I'm really struggling with submission in general.

I've always had a rebellious attitude. I've struggled with authority and being told what to do my whole life. And now I'm married and trying my best to follow Christ. Though can I really say it's my best if I'm really just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere?

God himself told me to start a journal and track my progress through it. I have made only 2 entries and both only recently, though he told me to do so months ago. I'm so frustrated with myself. If I can't even follow my maker's orders, how am I supposed to do so with my husband?

I'm even less inclined to over my husband. He's not the same man he was. He rarely yells or gets really angry anymore and no longer tries to use fear and intimidation to get his way. But I still refuse to trust him even though the holy Spirit has promised my safety and the safety of our daughter if I do. I have also been warned repeatedly by the Lord that my non submission can and will create disaster in our home.

So why am I struggling? I know the Lord promises much Joy in submission and also warns against non submission. I've even seen many mentions of a quarrelsome wife reaping destruction in her household in Proverbs.

I can't make sense of my rebellion, but I keep doing it. I can relate to Paul. I do what I do not want to do, and oh what a wretched (woman) I am.

Any suggestions on how to get back on the right path and learn submission. And not only learn it, but to adopt the mindset too?
 

Eugene

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I can't make sense of my rebellion, but I keep doing it. I can relate to Paul. I do what I do not want to do, and oh what a wretched (woman) I am.
Hi dear sister in Christ Funfunkymom; I even like the name. Welcome to these forums of Christian fellowship in Jesus' name. I would suggest that before you blame yourself too much, you have quoted a portion of Paul's testimony in Romans Chapter Seven, but continue with it, and even into the eighth chapter.

Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore (Looking back at chapter seven) now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. (Period!!!)
You're so young yet, and the Lord is working big time in your life to have His very best. Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure, and you're going to be at odds even with you until you submit to the force of the Holy Spirit leading you.

I love the fact of your husband having been given a spirit of calm while the war is manifest in you, or maybe you've just convinced him by now there's absolutely no benefit in arguing with you. :) I've been married now over sixty-one years now and have certainly learned that lesson, but what a treasure of grace my wife has become over the years also.

God is never going to leave, or forsake you (Heb 13:5), and the fight for your very best will continue as He conforms you into the very image of Jesus (Rom 8:29). Now as with the prodigal of Lk 15:11-32. To see and have God's best, there awaits a kiss by your Father (Lk 15:20), and in (Lk 15:22) the best robe (showing your righteousness - who? me?) , a ring on his hand (You are royality), and shoes on his feet (The provision for a spiritual walk):

As with most of us, we are not here by happenstance, and God has something so important for us through eternity; yield to it and start enjoying the peace you certainly seem to be seeking. All things that occur in the lives of a Christian are for our good (Rom 8:28), although I have wondered while in the face of disaster.

God loves you, and so do we.
1Co 6:11 (We) are washed, (We) are sanctified, (We) are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

There is armor for the fight we face, and I wrote the following thread I hope will give you new direction and help.
The Armor of God
http://www.christianforums.net/Fellowship/index.php?threads/the-armor-of-god.51558/

Blessings in Christ Jesus. :wave2
 
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I hear ya sister. I grew up in a very feminist home. My dad was not really in my everyday picture because my parents were divorced, and my mom is very strong-willed and gave that trait to my sister and me. I truly believe you have been given this revelation from God because I have been given the same info. It is almost not a natural thing to submit to our husbands (speaking about you and me) and it feels like we are going against what would be considered "right".

Understand that it is your nature that is what is making the struggle. Meaning give yourself a little break about the non-stop slip-ups. God is patient in his understanding with us. I know you will get there, just like I know that it will happen for me too. The trust in the Lord is actually stepping out of our comfort zone and doing the opposite of our nature. It is almost "fake it until you make it". Now, it will not be a fake submission after a while because you will always be going against what you "want" to do because you trust what God is telling you. Peace be with you!
 

StoveBolts

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Funfunkymom ,
From what I understand, you are commanded to respect your husband. He is commanded to love you. Both of you play a role in your marriage and it isn't just about you, rather, it's about the two of you.

I'm glad to hear he is not yelling and barking at you anymore, but I have to wonder the toll it's taken on you over the years. How do you maintain that awe over your husband that you used to have, when he's not being loving toward you? I'd venture to say you may have simply lost your respect for him, and you may be trying to make that up by being his servant.

Try showing him unconditional respect. Tell him you are proud of the things he does. Tell him you look up to him because and see how he responds. Chances are, he may just fall in love with you all over again.... and that good for both of you.
 

reba

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The prerequisites are to post in this forum are.....

1- You must be married and/or have offspring and...

2- You must be 18.
 

JohnDB

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Long story short, my relationship used to be an abusive one that resulted in a CPS case. This resulted in us coming to Christ (coming back to Christ in my case) and getting married on paper in our church. We have since left that church for another, but that's a different story.

My issue is my non submission. I have a really hard time submitting to my husband in anything. Heck, I even struggle submitting to Christ. Even though I pray and read the Bible and strive to follow the Lord's commands, I'm really struggling with submission in general.

I've always had a rebellious attitude. I've struggled with authority and being told what to do my whole life. And now I'm married and trying my best to follow Christ. Though can I really say it's my best if I'm really just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere?

God himself told me to start a journal and track my progress through it. I have made only 2 entries and both only recently, though he told me to do so months ago. I'm so frustrated with myself. If I can't even follow my maker's orders, how am I supposed to do so with my husband?

I'm even less inclined to over my husband. He's not the same man he was. He rarely yells or gets really angry anymore and no longer tries to use fear and intimidation to get his way. But I still refuse to trust him even though the holy Spirit has promised my safety and the safety of our daughter if I do. I have also been warned repeatedly by the Lord that my non submission can and will create disaster in our home.

So why am I struggling? I know the Lord promises much Joy in submission and also warns against non submission. I've even seen many mentions of a quarrelsome wife reaping destruction in her household in Proverbs.

I can't make sense of my rebellion, but I keep doing it. I can relate to Paul. I do what I do not want to do, and oh what a wretched (woman) I am.

Any suggestions on how to get back on the right path and learn submission. And not only learn it, but to adopt the mindset too?
I've seen this before many times.
It seems from a lack of faith. You really don't believe that God has your best interests at heart. Your husband even less.

And the root of this lack of faith could be just about anything... usually though it comes from a deficiency in love of some kind.

Faith is a muscle of sorts...it grows stronger with regular use. Atrophy from apathy is the most common reason for a lack of faith.

Hate isn't the opposite of love...apathy is. And it's showing up in your life.
 

MustangGirl

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Apr 28, 2015
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Long story short, my relationship used to be an abusive one that resulted in a CPS case. This resulted in us coming to Christ (coming back to Christ in my case) and getting married on paper in our church. We have since left that church for another, but that's a different story.

My issue is my non submission. I have a really hard time submitting to my husband in anything. Heck, I even struggle submitting to Christ. Even though I pray and read the Bible and strive to follow the Lord's commands, I'm really struggling with submission in general.
Oh goodness...this could be the story of my marriage (minus the CPS case, plus a domestic violence arrest). Up until 2007, my husband was in the Navy. I got used to doing things my way and when he was home, he was just sorta a decoration and an outlet (if you know what I mean). I was FULLY in control of our home, our children, everything. Then, he retired from the Navy. All of a sudden there was this man in my house who wanted to have a say in what went on in our home. Ummm...no...that was MY job.
To make an even longer story shorter, in 2009 he got very ill. At the same time we had custody of our granddaughters (a different story for a different day), a couple of older teens who challenged me every chance they got and caring for my mother after a series of strokes...add a full time job to that all. My husband had a civilian job, but his attitude was that since he was ill, he also would be waited on hand and foot. He also would drink himself into a stupor every night (my husband was an angry drunk). Ok...let's shorten this some more...fast forward 4 years. Granddaughters go back to their parents, teenagers move out, mother dies. I get offered a job across the country and take it. By this time, husband was no longer working due to his illness. He's still a jerk though. The following year, he has surgery to cure his illness...but had problems coping with the aftermath. He starts drinking again. One night he gets blind drunk and starts destroying our home (it wasn't the first time this happened, but it was definitely the last). I call the cops. They arrest him and toss him in jail. I make up my mind at that point to divorce him because I just can't take it anymore. I end up pouring my heart out to a friend who's a pastor...and he tells me that I really need to think and pray about divorce. In his mind, I did have biblical grounds to divorce him but...the truth was that he was not in his right mind. So...3 weeks later, he gets released from jail. I went OFF on him. Told him about every single time he'd hurt me, how badly he hurt me and when we got home, he was living in the guest bedroom until I figured out what I wanted to do. The good part of this is that we were in my car and he couldn't walk away from me while I was talking (that was what he always did, I wasn't allowed to be angry at him but he could be angry at me). We ended up separating when I accepted a job in yet another place and he had to stay behind because he was on probation. It was 7 months before we got back together.
We started going to a church here, but it was a mega-church, cold and impersonal. About 18 months later (after a whole lot of other stuff happened), we were watching TV and saw a news story on a local church's Christmas outreach. The name of the church was the same as a church we had occasionally attended in our hometown. Husband said he wanted to check it out, which blew me away because he'd never, ever suggested checking out a church before. So, we visited that church and 2 weeks later he went forward to receive Christ as savior. We were both baptized there about a month later. Since then, our marriage has slowly turned into what God meant for marriage to be. We were paired with a mentor couple and we're both learning what a Christian marriage means.
So...I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's so very hard to get from that place of hurt to that place of trust and submission. It takes time, lots of time. I can understand that you're wary of trusting this person who has hurt you so badly, of submitting to someone who has taken you for granted. The only way I know of to rebuild trust in that person is to watch them, to see if they've really changed. Are they staying close to the Lord? Have they found mentors? Have you found a mentor to help you on the way? It can be done...but it's a slow and painful process. Part of it is stripping away your own pride, being willing to give up control, Its a difficult journey but the reward is worth it.
 
M

maplegoat

Guest
I think if you read in Genesis you'll see that male and female were to compliment each others differences. I don't think we as wives are to lose our identity just because we're married. Being submissive means losing your own right to independent thought and your own power. It is a relationship you are in. Working together and filling the gaps the other has with the gifts the other has is how that works.

Being independent is not wrong in a marriage. It means you love your husband and you know you don't love him becuase you're dependent on him because you've lost your own capabilities for self-preservation and free thought.
And don't feel bad about being rebellious in your youth. Or having the backbone now to stand up against what you deem is not right. The country of America was founded on rebellion.

Don't lose yourself and your identity just because you're married. You are made in the image and likeness of God. You're to walk beside your husband, not behind him. Compliment each other don't let yourself be like unto a slave because you're wife. You can hold your husband up with your qualities when he's down. And vice versa.

Muslim women under Sharia are submissive to their husband. They're slaves to their husband. And before that to the males in their family in order. Father and then brothers.
Jesus came to free the slaves. Not make them because they went before an altar and said, "I do".
 
W

WinterPuma

Guest
Unfortunately I don't think the sister is to return to read these replies since her OP was in January.
I've been with my only husband for many years. This thread caught my attention reminding me of one of his friends who we were lunching with last year. My husband was to plan a camping/fishing trip and wanted his friend to come along. To which the friend remarked, I'll have to see if my wife will let me.
"Let"? We chuckled good heartedly thinking he was kidding. He's a husband not a child. He wasn't. It ended up he was allowed to go by his wife.

This is a great article that I found and think it will help the OP should she return. Or anyone who may find this thread and have the same concerns.


Excerpting below from this full article.
Inferior or Equal
by Becky Stelzer on January 1, 2007; last featured March 22, 2018
Also available in
Español

"That “Submission” Command
Many women believe that the Bible’s command for wives to “submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22-23, NKJV) places a woman in an inferior role to her husband. However, this is not the case.

The concept of submission is found throughout the Bible. One of the keys to maintaining the order God desires is recognizing the authority structure He established. Of course, the best example of one who submitted to authority is our Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who submitted to God and fulfilled the role He was called to by the Father (Matthew 26:36–39; Philippians 2:5–8).

The Creator chose to form man first and to entrust to him the role of leader in the home, for His glory. Obviously, man is not the ultimate authority, but is also under authority (1 Corinthians 11:3). The Bible commands the husband to be a loving servant leader who models the sacrificial love that Christ has showered on the church (Ephesians 5:23–33)—a love that led to His death on the Cross on our behalf.

GOD DESIGNED BOTH THE MAN AND WOMAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE EQUALLY. YET THEY WERE DESIGNED TO FULFILL DIFFERENT ROLES.​
God assigned the married woman the responsibility of being a helpmate to her husband (Genesis 2:18, 20). A helpmate (or helper) is a position of great responsibility and gentle strength. It is not a position of weakness as often associated with the command of submission (Ephesians 5). A godly helpmate entrusts herself to God, follows her husband’s lead, and uses her gifts and abilities to effectively support and aid her husband.

Josh Harris, author and speaker, reaffirms this biblical teaching in his book Boy Meets Girl.

From the first two chapters of the Bible we learn that Adam and Eve were created equal in God’s sight. Within the context of their equality, God assigned men and women different roles. He made Adam first, signifying his unique role as leader and initiator. He created Eve from Adam and brought her to Adam to be his helper in the tasks God had assigned him. She was made to complement, nourish, and help her husband. God’s greatest gift to man was “a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). This doesn’t minimize a woman’s role, but it does define it.​
Men and women were created equal, yet different. And the fact that we’re different is wonderful.​
God didn’t make us to duplicate each other, but to complement each other. The point here is not that Adam was better than Eve, just as God the Father is not “better” than God the Son. Father and Son are equal in essence, power, glory, but they have different roles; and the Son joyfully submits to the Father’s will (1 Corinthians 15:28). So in marriage a husband and wife are equal, even though Scripture tells the wife to joyfully submit to her husband’s leadership.3
Even with these truths, some women struggle to follow and thereby to fulfill the Bible’s requirements for godly womanhood. The husband, as the God-ordained leader of the home, can make his wife’s mandate to submit easier by also obeying God’s command to love his wife, “just as Christ also loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25, 28–29; 1 Peter 3).

Both husbands and wives must realize that God’s plans are always for our good and that following them brings us happiness and fulfillment (Psalm 23; 33:18–22; 34:8–22). But when we attempt to reverse God’s lovingly prescribed order, we disobey His commands, just as our first parents did only a few thousand years ago in the Garden of Eden."
 

MustangGirl

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My husband was to plan a camping/fishing trip and wanted his friend to come along. To which the friend remarked, I'll have to see if my wife will let me.
"Let"? We chuckled good heartedly thinking he was kidding. He's a husband not a child. He wasn't. It ended up he was allowed to go by his wife.
My husband will use the same phrase. It doesn't mean "giving permission", it means "let me check with my wife and see whether or not she thinks this is a good idea" or "let me check and see if there are other plans for that weekend". There were and are times I'll shoot down something he wants to do because we have other plans or he's on the parking lot duty at church and forgot, or whatever. No, he's not a child, but he's known to not really know what's going on as a family even though it's on the calendar.

This also seems to say that the WIFE has to "ask permission". I'll ask my husband at times if it's ok if I go here or there or do this or that. Its more of checking in. He may say "sure, go for it" or "umm...I want to do this or that" or in some cases "we really can't afford that right now". It's not a willy-nilly power trip on either side, it's more of being respectful.

At the grocery store, you'll see me telling him no quite often. Why? Because he wants something that's not good for him or too dang expensive (like on a limited budget he wants to buy out the junk food aisle). Then I don't give a hoot what he wants...it's not happening. It was much easier when I could grocery shop by myself but I can't anymore. He knows that when I say no, I mean it. I don't do it very often and neither does he.

There have been times when I've put my foot down and said NO MORE...Why? Because what he was doing was dangerous...to me, to himself and to our marriage. There are certain behaviors I will not tolerate from him and he knows that if he chooses to do these things again he will be outside the front door without his keys. Sometimes that's what it takes to wake someone up. THAT is the problem with the teaching of submission...often men are taught they can do whatever they want and the wife just has to tolerate it. THAT is what is WRONG and often churches will not speak up and state that wifely submission does not mean being a doormat and letting the husband steamroller over her.
 

JohnDB

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In reading MustangGirl post above I got to thinking about the times my wife has told me "no" and then the times I've told her "no".

It ain't often and is usually from a lack of information about some other things. For example usually we have a decent budget for groceries. But if I want something outside of that extra like eating out... well I check with her to find out if we can afford it. No harassment...I just want to know.

And it works both ways... sometimes she wants to get into something that troubles me. And even if it has brought her some happiness... I'll let her know that I'm not a fan of what she is getting involved with (along with my reasons).

My wife is my best friend. I tease her relentlessly. Sometimes too much and I reign myself in. But I look out for her. I care for her even when she gets flustered and irrational. (Not looking down on her) Just as her friend who has her best interest at heart... because I do.
Our only competition is in acts of love towards the other...no other competition. Sometimes I win... sometimes she does.
 
P

PrayingMantisRcutiepie

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To be fair, "let me", can very well be a permissive situation in a marriage. Where the one that has to be asked permission is controlling.
People can speak for their own relationships but they're not able to take their relationship and think that blanket revokes the permissive type relationships some people can find themselves in.

There are Christian's that live very strict lives in marriage. The woman , as we read of the OP, is totally submissive to the husband and in effect loses herself in order to be within his control. She doesn't think for herself, she doesn't have a job, save for in the home, she doesn't have her own money, it is all his that he gives her as an allowance for the home. And for her own upkeep if she asks for the money for that.

Someone is asking how to lose themselves in order to be controlled by their husband. Can we really contribute to that?
 

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